'I Welcome Suggestions to Make West End Better for Visitors'

The Evening Standard (London, England), December 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

'I Welcome Suggestions to Make West End Better for Visitors'


Byline: Jonathan Prynn and David Williams

THE leader of Westminster council today appealed to Standard readers for new ideas on how to ease West End congestion.

Colin Barrow said a "period of reflection" following the scrapping of the "tax on nightlife" until after the Olympics must be used for fresh thinking. He said: "I would welcome ideas from any and every quarter to make the West End a better place to live and visit. A less congested and more pleasant place to be for everyone. I challenge those who have opposed us in this debate to tell us how they would address this issue and I welcome their ideas and those of all Standard readers."

His comments came amid new allegations about a [pounds sterling]32 million black hole in the borough's parking revenue -- triggering fresh claims that the plan was really a cash-raising exercise.

Parking campaigner and professional accountant Barrie Segal, said his analysis of the council's accounts showed how it suffered huge shortfalls in revenues from 2007.

The council's finance and transformation policy report, published this month, showed that official predicted a "surplus" from fines of [pounds sterling]10.2 million in 2008-09 but in fact it came to less than [pounds sterling]3.3 million. Even worse shortfalls followed in the next two years. …

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